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Spring[binding] Hath Sprung 

A Springback Bind- O -Rama celebrating 
a distinctive technique. 
See page 24 for the catalog. 

On the cover: Pamela Barrios' pop-up 
and Karen Hanmer's dos-a-dos 

Volume 1. Number 1. Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

Table of Contents 



Welcome 2 

The Study of Bookbinding by Pamela Barrios 3 

Bookbinding Education in North America by Jeffrey 

Altepeter 4 

The Transcendental DRUM LEAF® by Timothy Ely 10 

Conservation and Tools: An Inquiry into Nature and 

Meaning by Jeffrey S. Peachey 19 

A Traveling Punching Jig by Donia Conn 
Spring [binding] Hath Sprung 

Advertise in The Bonefolder 

Submission Guidelines 


Editorial Board: 

Publisher & Editor /Reviewer: 

Peter D.Verheyen: Bookbinder & Conservator /Special 
Collections Preservation & Digital Access Librarian, Syracuse 
University Library, Syracuse, NY. 

Editors / Reviewers: 

Pamela Barrios: Conservator, Br igham Young University, 
Orem, UT. 

Donia Conn: Rare Book Conservator, Syracuse University 
Library, Syracuse, NY. 

Don Rash: Fine and edition binder, Plains, PA. 

Full information on the Bonefolder, subscribing, contributing 
articles, and advertising, can be found at: 

<http: / /> 

To contact the editors, write to: 


Welcome to the Bonefolder, a new peer-reviewed "open-ac- 
cess" e-journal for bookbinding and the book arts. The Bone- 
folder is an outgrowth of the Book Arts Web, enabling it to 
reach a global audience and contribute to the body of knowl- 
edge in the book arts 

The namesake of the Bonefolder is the Falzbein, a bookbind- 
ing journal which existed under various other names from 1927 
to 1966 in Germany, providing generations of bookbinders with 
an important source of learning. We also pay homage to the ex- 
cellent journals published by Designer Bookbinders, the Society 
of Bookbinders, and the Guild of Book Workers, who with their 
proven history of excellence in publishing and the promotion of 
the book arts have set the bar high. 

We will take advantage of the benefits of online publishing to 
bring you an e-journal which will complement the offerings of 
other publications. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge 
waiting to be shared, and we would like to do our part to foster 
the continued development and growth of the book arts. Ar- 
ticles will be authored by established and emerging authorities 
on a variety of book arts topics. These include hand bookbind- 
ing, teaching, business practice, the history of the book, general 
tips & tricks, exhibitions, how-to technical articles, and reviews. 
The articles selected for this first issue will represent a snapshot 
of the range of articles we hope to present into the future. 

Authors are encouraged to submit articles for publication and 
will find the Submission Guidelines on page 31 and at <http:/ / submit, htm > . 

Individuals interested in becoming an editor/ reviewer are en- 
couraged to apply and will find more information at <http : / / editors. htm> . 

The masthead design is by Don Rash 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. 
The Book Arts Web /© 2004 
The Bonefolder (online) ISSN 1555-6565 



Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

The Study of Bookbinding 

Pamela Barrios, Editor/ Reviewer, 
The Bonefolder 

One might begin the study of codex binding with simple 
forms: a pamphlet binding, an accordion in a case. In pro- 
gressing through more complicated forms - from flat spine to 
rounded spine, from case to laced- on boards - it seems there 
are pivotal differences between the forms. 

But at some point, we realize that these are all some form 
of the codex, and in later learning, begin to see the similari- 
ties instead of the differences. It becomes a matter of varia- 
tions and details. I am a believer in training as a preparation 
for detail. You might call it grounding or centering, but we all 
need a good place to start from. Variations without ground- 
ing result in paint-by-numbers works, which may function 
and may resemble excellent binding, but always seem to have 
something missin< 

My hope is that the Bonefolder will uncover more tech- 
niques and aesthetic principles at all levels, so we can con- 
tinue to discover the links between art and technique in 

That's why it's important to continue to take classes and 
study master writings and techniques. Master writings reveal 
technical, but also aesthetic, principles. Here I would include 
trade bindery techniques, which combine efficiency with 

Samuel Beckett says it well in his novel Molloy: 

And in spite of all the pains I had lavished on these 
problems, I was more than ever stupefied by the 
complexity of this innumerable dance, involving 
doubtless other determinants of which I had not the 
slightest idea. And I said, with rapture, here is some- 
thing I can study all my life, and never understand. 

Our society praises speed, but craft processes are not 
mastered quickly. We learn them, practice them, are puzzled 
by them, and then it's time to learn them again. Learning a 
technique is a journey through several minds over time. 

I was introduced to conservation at the NY Botanical 
Gardens in 1976. Hedi Kyle was the master binder and was 
studying with Laura Young. Hedi is an artist and it never oc- 
curred to me that there was any boundary between artist and 
conservator. I still see no boundary. The skills are the same. 
The focus is different. 

Later training with Elaine Schlefer reinforced the same 
premise. Elaine was trained by Gerard Charriere (an art- 
ist) and Carolyn Horton (a conservator) . She used the skills 
necessary to repair and protect objects, no matter where the 
skills were learned. 

Pamela Barrios was introduced to the field of Book 
Arts and Conservation by Hedi Kyle at the NY Botanical 
Garden in 1976. She also trained with Elaine Schlefer 
at the NY Public Library She held conservation posi- 
tions at these institutions and at the Sterling Memorial 
Library atYale and the NY Academy of Medicine before 
accepting her current position of Conservator of Special 
Collections at the Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young 
University. Her artist books and design bindings have 
been exhibited internationally. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 


Bookbinding Education in North America 

By Jeffrey Altepeter 

A version of this article was presented as a final 
paper in partial fulfillment of requirements for gradu- 
ation from the American Academy of Bookbinding in 
May 2003. 

The syllabi for many of the programs listed here 
can be found as a separate PDF document at <http:/ / altepeterappendix. 
pdf>. Please note, course content may change over 

The path to becoming a bookbinder was once more clearly 
marked than it is today. There were well-defined systems of 
apprenticeship, later supplemented with technical education. 
The training was specifically suited to develop workers that met 
the demands and standards of the workplace of the day. The 
apprenticeship systems in most countries have largely collapsed. 
(Ellenport, Sam. The Future of Hand Bookbinding. Harcourt 
Bindery. Boston. 1993) There is no regulated system available 
to bookbinding students in North America today. There are, 
however, many training opportunities offering a wide range of 
approaches to the study of the craft. In fact, the current variety 
of study opportunities offers adaptability to individual needs and 
to a career landscape far different from that facing apprentices 
of the past. Navigating the maze of options is a major challenge. 
What is lacking is an organized collection of in-depth informa- 
tion about the objectives, content, and structure of the various 
training options. Such information would be helpful to students 
seeking training to fit their needs, it would help instructors re- 
fine the training, and it may help potential employers or clients 
better understand a binder's training background. 

The traditional apprenticeship, as seen in most European 
models, is part of a highly regulated system, offering a clearly 
defined path toward equally defined career opportunities. The 
system is based on specific standards and defined skills. Funda- 
mental skills of craftsmanship and work habits are drilled into 
the apprentice at every step of the way. Conservator /bookbind- 
er Peter Verheyen describes his experience in Germany: 

My apprenticeship was spent doing production 
library binding, all by hand. As part of that I started 
out sweeping the floors. . . and cleaning benches (neat- 
ness), sorting the paper and leather drawers (know 
your materials and learn how to treat them well) , and 
then pulling, preparing materials, gluing, making cases, 
covering, casing in. . . All that in batches averaging 100 
per week. It was all repetition. . . (Verheyen, Peter. 
Private email discussion. January 2003) 

Repetitious work and training develops highly skilled special- 
ists to meet the needs of large trade binderies. Specialization 
is the key to productivity and quality. Rather than having one 
binder work on a book from start to finish, the book moves 
through the various stages of forwarding and finishing from one 
bench to the next. By dividing the process between several 
specialists a bindery can achieve a high quality product and at a 
pace that can't be matched by an individual working alone. The 
group of specialists works as parts of a machine. But by the 
second half of the 20th century many of the large trade binder- 
ies, losing more and more work to real machines, were forced 
to downsize or close. (Ellenport) Harcourt Bindery in Boston, 
now the largest bindery in the United States offering exclusively 
hand bookbinding, currently operates with only about ten em- 
ployees. The demand for traditionally trained binders will not 
support the training systems of the past. 

Economic factors make it difficult for small hand binder- 
ies to support even an unregulated form of apprenticeship. At 
one time it was common for parents to pay a master craftsman 
to take their child as an apprentice. These days, students may 
be comfortable paying school tuition. . . but paying to work? 
Anything like an apprenticeship is simply viewed as on-the-job 
training, and at least entry- level pay is expected. 

Another factor that may prevent any revival of the traditional 
apprenticeship system is the sheer length of training time. 
Historically the apprenticeship period involved several years 
of training (7 years was not uncommon). Many of the book- 
binding teachers interviewed for this article described "instant 
gratification" as a common desire of students today. And while 
many students of the craft today are aware that it is impossible 
to master skills in a weekend workshop, the demands of "day 
jobs and rent make many into "weekend warriors." 

While regulated apprenticeships don't exist in North America 
and informal apprenticeships are rare, there are a wide variety 
of very good training opportunities available. However, more 
important than simply finding training opportunities is choosing 
the right training 

Those seeking training are generally planning to work in one 
or more broadly defined areas of the field: traditional hand 
bookbinding, conservation, or book arts. There are fundamental 
skills common to all of these areas — instructors interviewed for 
this paper all included such things as attention to detail, neat- 
ness and other good work habits, and a general understanding 
of materials and tools. While there are hand skills that should 
be considered fundamental to all, specific training is certainly 
important. The prospective students must consider how the 
objectives of a given program mesh with their own goals. The 
objectives are critically important when attempting to compare 
various study opportunities because the quality of each can only 
be judged in the context of those specific goals. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

The instructors of several different programs pointed 
out: "You can't get it all in one program," said Julia Leonard, 
lead bookbinding teacher at the University of Iowa Center 
for the Book. (Leonard, Julia. Phone conversation. January 
23, 2003.) There are strengths and weaknesses in all of the 
options, and it will likely require a combination of train- 
ing, internships and on-the-job experience to add up to the 
equivalent of traditional apprenticeships. Chela Metzger 
teaches the hands-on book conservation classes at The Uni- 
versity of Texas at Austin and describes her own training as an 
example, "My background includes a Masters in Librarianship, 
North Bennet Street School's hand bookbinding program, a 
one year conservation internship at the Library of Congress, 
on-the-job training as Project Conservator at The Huntington 
Library, lots of workshops through the years, as well as his- 
tory courses at Rare Book School." (Metzger, Chela. Private 
email. January 2003.) 

There are several sources for locating training opportuni- 
ties. The Guild of Book Workers (GBW) publishes the Study 
Opportunities List, and the Canadian Bookbinders and Book 
Artists Guild (CBBAG) has a Directory of Educational Op- 
portunities. Workshops are listed in many book arts publica- 
tions, including the GBW and CBBAG newsletters. Regional 
and local book arts centers, clubs and guilds are good sources 
of information about lectures and workshops in a given area. 
Internet resources include The Book Arts Web, the listser v 
Book Arts-L, and a bookbinding list on Yahoo. Some resourc- 
es are listed in the appendix. 

While relatively easy to track down the variety of study 
opportunities it is difficult to find more in-depth information 
about quality and content. Prospective students must do a 
great deal of research with little guidance. There is no single 
source that provides a thorough map. 

A variety of suggestions came out of discussions with 
sources for this article regarding the possibilities for navigat- 
ing of the maze of training opportunities. The most common 
idea is the creation of a cohesive source of in-depth informa- 
tion. An improved version of the GBW Study Opportunities 
List, for example, would collect and disclose more informa- 
tion about the course objectives, curriculum, and the training 
background of the instructors. The disclosure of objective 
information would facilitate student choices as well as foster 
greater communication between instructors about the quality 
of their program content, leading to improvements in the 
training itself. Betsy Palmer Eldridge, president of The Guild 
of Book Workers, writes: 

Based on the listings in the Membership Direc- 
tory and the Study Opportunities List, a great deal 
of teaching is being done. However little is known 

about what is being taught, or where, or how. For 
the most part the teaching is isolated, spontaneous, 
and random, with no guidelines or consensus as to 
what should be taught. . . The Guild of course is not 
in a position to arbitrarily decide what should be 
taught . . . However the Guild is in a position to open 
up discussion among teachers and instructors, about 
what works and what does not work in teaching. 
(Eldridge, Betsy Palmer President's Report. GBW 
Newsletter No. 147. April 2003) 

Most of those interviewed for this article agreed that certi- 
fication is not the goal. All were interested in a free exchange 
of information about the content and structure of training in 
the field, and hoped for a cooperative effort toward creating a 
more complete map of training opportunities. 

The following section presents a small descriptive sampling 
of the various approaches available for the study of bookbind- 
ing in North America. These options are described by specific 
examples, and information about the strengths of the ap- 
proach where possible. 

Full-Time Bench Programs 

North Bennet Street School offers the only full-time bench 
program in the United States. The NBSS program is 20 
months, 30 hours per week. The program is almost entirely 
hands-on bench work, supplemented with demonstration- 
style lectures and field trips. Instructors have included 
former apprentices of William Anthony (Mark Esser and Sally 
Key). The current instructor, Mark Andersson, is a graduate 
of the NBSS program himself. The course objective states: 

After graduation the student will work in an 
institutional or hand bindery, binding new leather 
and cloth books, repairing damaged cloth and leather 
bindings, constructing protective enclosures, or 
performing complex conservation procedures under 
the direction of a supervisor. The graduate will also 
perform simple finishing operations including blind 
and gold tooling, onlays and inlays and edge decora- 
tion. The graduate is qualified to seek employment 
in a wide range of settings where the work experi- 
ence will include opportunities to gain and perfect 
the advanced skills that were presented in the course. 
(North Bennet Street School course catalog.) 

While the NBSS program is clearly focused on book repair 
and restoration the approach is quite broad. Students make 
models of a wide variety of historical binding structures in an 
effort to understand the workings of books they may repair. 
Along the way there is exposure to most aspects of traditional 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

hand bookbinding and time allowed to follow individual inter- 
ests. The School's curriculum can be found in the appendix. 

Conservation Programs 

At the program for Preservation/ Conservation Studies 
(PCS) at The University of Texas at Austin, 

PCS students learn the art and science of collec- 
tions care and the methods of managing and pro- 
moting preservation activities in order to fulfill the 
fundamental goal of extending the life of materials 
in libraries and archives to serve the need for which 
they are held. (Preservation/ Conservation Studies 

Lecturer Chela Metzger points out that PCS is not specifi- 
cally a bookbinding training program, but includes a three lab 
sequence in book conservation, with bookbinding fundamen- 
tals used as a tool of book conservation in each class. "The 
students here would not always describe themselves as book- 
binders, and they often are not. . . they are beginning conser- 
vators with more background in bookbinding than most other 
conservation school graduates in the U.S. have when they 
graduate." The program emphasizes a more comprehensive 
view of the care of library materials, including classes on such 
topics as environmental control, preservation reformatting 
and conservation chemistry. Examples of the book conserva- 
tion lab syllabi can be found in the appendix. 

Specialized Workshop Programs 

The American Academy of Bookbinding inTelluride, CO 
offers an annual series of workshops focused on fine binding 
techniques. The workshops may be taken independently, but 
the school also offers a Diploma Program for professional stu- 
dents. The Diploma Program objective is to "graduate profes- 
sional binders with the knowledge and skills to produce fine 
leather bindings of the highest quality." (American Academy 
of Bookbinding program brochure.) The director and main 
instructor is master binder Tini Miura. Miura focuses on a 
modified version of French- style fine binding as the core of 
the program with a two-week course on forwarding that may 
be repeated five times or more. Other workshops include 
finishing (titling, gilding, and onlays), making a chemise, 
slip case and drop back box, and others that address specific 
fine binding techniques. AAB brings top-level binders from 
around the world to teach workshops on vellum, miniature 
bindings, and other special techniques. A description of the 
diploma program requirements can be found in the appendix. 

Book Arts Centers & Other Workshop Sites 

The independent Centers for Book Arts in New York, 
Minneapolis, and San Francisco (NYCBA, MCBA, SFCB), to 
name a few, all host workshops and courses. The courses cov- 
er a wide range of topics at all levels, often with an emphasis 
on artist books. They all benefit from having well equipped 
workshops and many guest instructors. Most provide access 
to the facilities by membership or rental. 

The Garage Annex School for Book Arts in Easthampton, 
MA is another host for a variety of workshops. Daniel Kelm 
and his guest instructors provide a wide range of educational 
opportunities including internships, weekend workshops, 
and longer intensives. Individual instruction is available, as 
are facilities for work on individual projects with or without 
consultation and support of the Garage personnel. (Garage 
Annex School workshop catalog.) 

Organization Sponsored Workshops 

There are a wide range of workshops offered by the Guild 
of Book Workers (GBW) and the Canadian Bookbinders and 
Book Artists Guild (CBBAG). GBW workshops are com- 
monly one or two day long events, organized by the regional 
chapters. They provide excellent supplemental study op- 
portunities for learning specific techniques but could not 
be considered an exclusive source of training. The CBBAG 
workshops, on the other hand, are organized into a complete 
program curriculum, offered mainly in one- week segments 
(similar to the workshop based program of the American 
Academy of Bookbinding) . CBBAG students are able to take 
the workshops independently, but many combine the entire 
curriculum into their complete training. (Smith, Shelagh. 
Private email. January 2003.) The CBBAG curriculum is also 
available on video for home study. 

The Guild of Book Workers also holds an annual Standards 
of Excellence Seminar that includes a series of lectures and 
demonstrations by masters of the book arts. 

Private Lessons 

Private lessons are another common approach to learning, 
and may be highly personalized to the needs of the student. 
While the possibilities for independent binders to offer ap- 
prenticeships may be economically limited, private teaching 
can be an additional source of income. 

Priscilla Spitler of Hands On Bookbinding in Smithville, 
TX explains that in her bindery, "Due to production demands, 
most of the classes offered at the studio are short run series or 
workshops." Spitler offers classes for beginners and accom- 
modates the needs of serious students with more advanced 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

teaching. A copy of her teaching outline is available in the 
appendix. (Spitler, Priscilla. Outline for Teaching Hand Book- 
binding. ) 

Until recently, Bill Streeter of the Silver Maple Bindery in 
Northampton, MA offered a three month intensive course 
for one student at a time, after which capable students were 
sometimes offered an extended internship. By offering an in- 
timate look at running the business in addition to the assigned 
projects, this course contained aspects of an apprenticeship 
combined with the structure of a program. A former student 
of Streeter 's, Barry Spence, explains: 

One thing that isn't written on the syllabus but 
that was invaluable was being shown in exhaus- 
tive detail how to run a bindery and survive — how 
to price work and think about the business side of 
it. Bill was extremely open about all of this, to the 
point of showing his taxes! You also learned a lot 
about tools, machinery. . . maintenance and where 
and how to get them. (Spence, Barry. Private email. 
December 2002.) 

The program itself was based on the three-month officer 
training at West Point during WWII, whose graduates were 
known as the "90 Day Wonders," Streeter recalls. The style of 
training was intended to give a solid overview of the job, the 
vocabulary, and the basic tools of the trade in a short period 
of time to allow them to "hit the ground running." Streeter 
acknowledges that his students wouldn't finish the course 
knowing how to do everything, but would have a foundation 
in the fundamental use of tools and materials, and have some 
experience with the most common types of jobs that book- 
binders face on a regular basis. (Streeter, Bill. Phone conver- 
sation. January 2, 2003.) The course syllabus is available in 
the appendix. 

Internships and On-the Job Training 

On-the-job training (OJT) may be the closest thing to a 
traditional apprenticeship available in North America, and 
is itself essentially a traditional form of training. The repeti- 
tious work and training described previously as a key part of 
apprentice training is not replicable in a program setting. The 
pressures of working in a production setting can be an invalu- 
able part of the process of learning the craft. Obviously noth- 
ing can prepare one better for a job than doing the job itself! 

The limitations of OTJ training are tied up in the same eco- 
nomic pressures of production that provide the opportunity 
to develop speed and efficiency and enhance skills — the need 
for production imposes the familiar structure of specializa- 
tion. OTJ training may provide the opportunity to master 

a specialty, but probably won't offer the chance to learn the 
whole bookbinding process. 

Internships are an important follow up to other forms of 
training. Bench experience comes only with time, and no 
program or workshop can provide enough of that to gradu- 
ate a master binder or conservator. Deb Wender of the 
Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA 
says, "Internships are essential. Programs have a limited time 
to convey the information they believe to be most impor- 
tant — so something has got to be left out. You also simply 
don't become skilled and knowledgeable in the length of time 
programs have to teach you." (Wender, Deborah. Private 
email. January 2003.) 

Self— teaching/ Home study 

Self-teaching is probably the most common approach to 
learning bookbinding in North America. There are obvious 
potential problems pitfalls, but due to the large distances in 
the United States and Canada, many find it difficult to travel 
to existing study opportunities. Some of the tools of this 
approach include bookbinding manuals and workshop videos. 
The process is often supplemented by attending short work- 
shops. Peter Verheyen is working on an annotated bibliogra- 
phy of bookbinding manuals that should prove very helpful to 
autodidacts as well as everyone else. (Verheyen, Peter. Private 
email discussion. January 2003.) 

One of the most promising developments in this area is the 
video based Home Study Program developed by the Canadian 
Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG). The program 
incorporates their core workshop curriculum, which includes 
Bookbinding I, II and III, Finishing, Restoration and Repair, 
Endpapers, and General Information on Leather. Paper Treat- 
ments for Binders is another segment being considered for 
the Home Study Program. The focus of the CBBAG program 
is on restoration and artist books, and the objective is to "turn 
out trained bookbinders who are able to function indepen- 
dently whether as professional or hobbyist." (Smith, Shelagh. 
Private email. January 2003.) The Home Study Program is 
available in two forms: The Resource and Reference Stream 
(RRS) that includes the purchase of the videos and manual, 
and the Monitoring Stream (MS) that offer the students 
comment and critique of their work. Course outlines can be 
found in the appendix. 

University/ College Programs 

The following are just three examples of University/ Col- 
lege based programs. They all share a "whole book" approach, 
and benefit from the interdisciplinary community of their 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 


The University of Alabama offers a M.F.A. in the 
Book Arts 

This program takes a multidisciplinary approach, 
including printing, paper making and bookbinding to 
develop "book artists who have well-honed techni- 
cal knowledge of the various facets of contemporary 
bookmaking, and who have an understanding of the 
historical evolution of the book including its mate- 
riality, and the role of the book in society. Courses 
explore the reconciliation of modern sensibilities 
with historic craft." (University of Alabama MFA in 
Book Arts program Website.) 

Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and 
Paper Arts 

This 60 credit hour Master of Fine Arts in 
Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts is designed 
for students who have completed the BFA or BA, 
professional artists, writers, librarians, performers 
or educators interested in career development and 
creative enrichment in the book and paper arts. Stu- 
dents develop a personal focus within the book and 
paper arts, stretching and expanding the art form 
in many directions including installation, set design, 
and performance as well as the traditional forms 
of the book and paper arts. This interdisciplinary 
approach offers an introduction to all five art forms 
(art, music, dance, drama, and creative writing) 
and the opportunity to collaborate with other art- 
ists while being provided with a broad, esthetically 
sophisticated background in the function of the book 
and paper arts. Understanding the past, present, and 
future of the book and paper arts and the relation- 
ship to the culture from which they spring is stressed 
as is technical mastery and the development of a 
strong personal voice. (Columbia College Chicago 
for Book and Paper Arts Website.) 

The University of Iowa Center for the Book 

The University of Iowa Center for the Book 
(UICB) offers instruction in papermaking, calligra- 
phy, fine printing and artists' books, bookbinding, 
and other arts and crafts of the book and supports 
the study of the book in culture and the use of the 
book as a source of artifactual evidence in scholarly 
research. It works with departments and faculty to 
establish and offer courses of interest to students 
in their own departmental disciplines. The UICB 
encourages the open exchange of new ideas about 
the history, present evolution, and future of the 

book through its curriculum, and through lectures, 
conferences, and related publications. (University of 
Iowa Center for the Book Website.) 

Instructor Julia Leonard describes the graduate certificate 
program as a "well rounded immersion into the book arts; 
printing, paper making, binding, and calligraphy. The students 
are looking to examine how it all relates to book studies — to 
put it all in context." (Leonard, Julia. Phone conversation. 
January 23, 2003.) Leonard explains that the students in this 
program want to get a taste of all aspects of book produc- 
tion, and points out that students interested in more advanced 
study of traditional bookbinding have the opportunity to work 
with Gary Frost in the Conservation Labs. 

Book History Programs 

While Rare Book School is not a hands-on training pro- 
gram, it provides important historical knowledge that is lack- 
ing or limited in many other programs and workshops. 

Rare Book School (RBS) is an independent, non- 
profit institute supporting the study of the history of 
books and printing and related subjects. Founded in 
1983, it moved to its present home at the University 
of Virginia in 1992. 

Each year, RBS offers approximately 40 five-day 
non- credit courses on topics concerning old and 
rare books, manuscripts, and special collections. The 
educational and professional prerequisites for RBS 
courses vary. Some courses are broadly directed to- 
ward antiquarian booksellers, book collectors, book- 
binders, conservators, teachers, and professional 
and avocational students of the history of books and 
printing. Others are primarily intended for archivists 
and for research and rare book librarians and cura- 
tors. (Rare Book School Website.) 

The preceding examples of bookbinding training oppor- 
tunities are only a selection of the many options available in 
North America today, and do not represent the only possibili- 
ties within the given categories. These examples illustrate 
a complex variety of approaches and content — an array of 
options that must appear as a maze to newcomers to the craft. 
The information here and in the appendix only scratches the 
surface of what could be collected and assembled for the use 
of prospective students. All of the instructors interviewed for 
this article were excited by the idea of sharing more infor- 
mation about the content of their programs and generously 
provided the curriculum and course syllabi found in the ap- 
pendix at < 
peterappendix.pdf> . Please note, course content may change 
over time. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

Websites Referenced 

Ellenport, Sam. The Future of Hand Bookbinding. Har- 
court Bindery. Boston. 1993. <http: //www. philo- 
biblon . com / Future OfHandBookbinding. htm > 
North Bennet Street School <http:/ /www. 
programs /bookBinding. asp > 

Preservation / Conservation Studies at University of 
Texas at Austin <http:/ /www. /pro- 
grams/ pcs/> 

American Academy of Bookbinding, Telluride, CO. 

<http: / / AAB.html> 

Garage Annex School for Book Arts, Easthampton, MA. 

<http: / /> 

University of Alabama MFA in Book Arts <http: / / www. 

bookar ts . ua . edu / > 

Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper 
Arts <http:/ /www.> 
University of Iowa Center for the Book <http: / / www. ~ctrbook/ > 

Rare Book School, Charlottesville, VA <http:/ /rare- 
bookschool . org> 

Jeffrey Altepeter was born in Indiana where he grew 
up apprenticing in his father's picture framing shop. This 
work instilled an appreciation for quality craftsmanship 
and presentation, and hand skills that have carried over to 
bookbinding. A graduate of the bookbinding program at 
North Bennet Street School as well as the diploma pro- 
gram at the American Academy of Bookbinding, Jeff also 
gained experience 'on the job' while working for Har- 
court Bindery and Harvard University. He now operates 
a private studio specializing in custom books, boxes, and 
other presentation materials and continues to participate 
in a variety of workshops. Jeff is currently president of 
the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 


The Transcendental DRUM LEAF® 

By Tim Ely 

I want to discuss here a recent commission I received for a 
manuscript book. I will describe the making of the physical 
object as well as attempt to place it in a historical context or 
at least an aesthetic syntax. As this book is in progress at the 
time of this writing, I will show details of the drawings and 
fabrication notes to illustrate its current progress. Sketchbook 
51 (below) will serve as a model for this commission. 

Unlike in the past, I now often fully model a major work 
I am undertaking. For one thing, as creativity cannot be del- 
egated, I work on my own without assistance. So often a piece 
will spontaneously take on a new direction. This is of value 
but can sometimes completely derail a book binding as it can 
insert too much new information. If problems show up in the 
process they can be resolved in a more conscientious manner 
if encountered in a less valued mode such as the model. Often 
these models are the same scale as the manuscript book. 

The commission was given to me by a local physician, now 
over 90 and in exceptionally good health. He has a head full of 
ideas in constant collision and has marvelous stories and the 
experience to back them up. It was an honor to accept this 

In the time I have known him, several ideas in the fields of 
optics and electromagnetism have reared their heads cobra 
fashion as an alert to look at the visual patterns these disci- 
plines embrace. Since the bulk of my cartographic imaginals is 
contained in the methods of abstracting these realities, it was 
no stretch to bring to the commission the microscope and 
the lodestone as the demarcation tools for the investigation of 
dust. I was also trying to solve a construction problem in the 
house and sought the solution in one of my grandfather's car- 
pentry encyclopedias — only to discover a section in one de- 
voted to electromagnetism and annotated with his weird little 
scribblings. (What was he building out there in the shop?!) 

The doctor is old and as he has often said, "You should 
speak to me quickly as my time is short" — perfect motivation 
for a drum leaf binding as they are swift to do within certain 
parameters. This style of book is what I have always wanted to 
build since the earliest ideas for visual books were occurring 
to me. The book structure and systems involve no sewing, an 
irony that doesn't escape me as I am involved in the launch of 
high-end sewing frames into the world. The drum leaf is all 
about adhesives and co-tangent layers. It might be the perfect 
system for one who draws. 

Less quick are the manuscript pages themselves because 
the ways in which I work are slow to do. From experience, I 
know that if I make up the subassemblies, the binding can be 
fabricated in one working day. This does not take into account 
time for finishing 

Like most inventions or developments, the drum leaf bind- 
ing did not come born out of the world in a flash of white 
light. Instead, a variety of processes, methods, and technolo- 
gies were in place and simply ready for amalgamation, in- 
spired by a couple of book experiences I had several years ago. 

While at the University of Utah in 1997, 1 saw a book in 
Special Collections that would offer up the pivot on which 
this whole matrix would move. The book, by Andreas Cel- 
larius and entitled "Atlas Coelestis seu Harmonia Macrocos- 
mica" [circa 1600] is a most amazing atlas of the heavens. With 
pre- and post- Coper nican ideas, astrologies and markers, 
it contains a richness not obtainable except by firsthand 
experience. This book is a perfect reason why a manuscript 
bookmaker needs to see original work. It was not, however, 
the binding that would redirect my thinking, but the impact of 
the engravings that that would add a new methodology to my 

deranged imagination. 

The images, of an astrological/ astronomical subject, are 
composed in the formalist manner of the time, engraved 
directly into copper and I assume colored by hand. What was 
astonishing to me was that, although I was familiar with the 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

book from seeing it illustrated elsewhere, seeing the beast in 
the flesh allowed me to see that the engravings are attached 
to throw-out guards so that they open perfectly to the center 
of the fold, meaning I could see into that no-man's-land of 
the gutter and the expression that is carried fully across the 
spread. The idea had occurred to me many times to begin the 
images of my own work in the exact center of the galactic 
folio but my conventional English- European hybrid binding 
techniques render that idea rather impractical because of the 
gutter. I then recalled seeing a book in Daniel Kelm's lab that 
involved single folios, one sided, and thought there might be 
something in that recipe that could apply to what I was now 

Long before the term drum leaf showed up and before 
the current refinements, I utilized what I imagined Daniel 
might do. As he is a fire personality, he has long favored the 
dry mount press and hand-held tacking iron as his weapons 
of choice. (I, being more aqueous in nature, favor wet, very 
wet, adhesives.) So, my first books designed to open flat and 
have imagery flowing uninterrupted over the center of the 
spread had the covering materials, endpapers, and leaves of 
the manuscript fully fused together using a dry mount press, 
thus, technically not yet a "drum leaf." In addition, I adapted 
G. Frost, Esq's flat-backed, breakaway spine. 



1 . Brevity: Up to this time my books had an almost fevered 
intensity not unlike flatulent theological commentary — that 
is, if an idea was good, the book could be extensive and 
exhaustive, with sometimes over 40 imaged sides of ten folios 
and taking sometimes two years to complete. Within the 
drum leaf system, I work on only one side of the folio and in 
practical terms this means less time at the drawing board and 
almost no assiduous design problems as one would have with 
a folio imaged on both sides. I have found certain ideas can 
most elegantly be compressed. 

2. Moisture : The use of minimal amounts of wet adhesive 
eliminates many of the stumpers normally found in the pro- 
cesses of bookbinding 



After making this first manuscript book, some properties of 
this formal system became immediately apparent. 

x it 1 

vmmrn mm 

3. Design of the folios: Working on one side means that the 
back of the folio is blank. It actually can be a carrier for covert 
information — only to be seen by a conservator somewhere 
down the path and long after I have entered the Bardo region. 

Drawing and design cannot be separated out or distilled 
into categoric regions but rather the one is done simultane- 
ously with the other. In the drum leaf method, the application 
of various liquids for sizing, coloring, and stabilizing the paper 
are as critical to the design as the more rigorous scratchings 
that go onto the final surface. With this system I can size with 
materials unconventional to the standard codex form — gela- 
tin and whiting, as an example, for a silverpoint drawing. 
Folios or single leaves can be passed through an etching press 
to receive a skin of ink or be easily worked using a stamp- 
ing press for anodization. Flexibility is a means to liberation. 
Printed folios are less likely to be lost to the proofing process 
if only one side of the sheet is printed. There are antecedents 
for these ideas in fixtures like the French fold. 

By "drumming" I make reference to the conventional and 
venerable vellum book fabrication method where the skin is 
attached to the board along a leading edge rather than over an 


Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

entire surface. Adhesives are kept to a minimum. By con- 
trolling the areas of moisture one can dominate that pesky 
quantity of expansion and contraction that causes so much 

Overall, what the system provides is a means to express 
a potent but abbreviated set of visual ideas in a streamlined 
manner. It can be elegant and utilize all the attendant features 
of any other high- end binding. It is all in the aesthetic and 
technical approach and levels of refinement. 

12 In the time since I made the first drum leaf binding there 

have been many refinements and incremental developments. 
Small things such as adhesive delivery methods and large ones 
such as utilizing a common repair scheme so as to fabricate 
folios from single leaves after imaging in a printing press 
— which, had they been printed as folios, would have exceed- 
ed the capacity of my press. By simply dividing the paper to fit 
the press, then bringing two parts together in the drum leaf 
binding process, a whole "new" graphic capability is intro- 
duced: new tensions are more expressively teased into unfold- 
ing and untapped pattern formations are brought into play. 

. i _ ■ ■ 

■ ■ . 


I begin the commissioned book by determining the dimen- 
sional format of the leaf. I decide on the single leaf method 
rather than the folio as I want a very graphic division between 
the cribriform grid on the recto and the wave form on the 

The format coordinates are eventually arrived at — [See be- 
low] a root three rectangle will nicely accommodate some 5 x 
5 grids and be unstable enough to allow for some spontaneous 
compositional flashes. 

the mi 

The paper choice is almost always the same for me — my 
industry standard Arches Cover white. It is astonishingly con- 
sistent in its caliper at point- zero -one -eight (.018) inches and 
that thickness, being rather close in thickness to a generalized 
leather turn-in, makes it also a handy material for linings and 
filler sheets. However, as it is primarily a printmaker's sheet, 
the sizing is a bit light for my requirements so I size the sheets 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

with gelatin, about .25 ounces to 500 ml of distilled water. 
This is brushed on with marvelous hairy Japanese brushes 
and allowed to sit before hanging on a line to dry. Afterwards, 
they are pressed for a day. 

During this drying time, other drawing materials are gath- 
ered and the schematics for the book are diagrammed in my 
sketchbook. Supplementary reading is either done or gathered 
for easy access, pens are cleaned, and the environment made 

To summarize: I have designed here a full leather, drum leaf 
binding made up of eight sections in addition to the endpa- 
pers. To do this, I have made up 16 single sheets measuring 
out in a root three rectangle drafted out from my propor- 
tional positioning template. 

Early in the development of a book, as I am working up 
the design and reading what reference material I have, I look 
for the poetry that is interior to the science or philosophy of 
the narrative that will drive the book. The title is there, I only 
need find it. Once found, the title page is designed. I favor 
a formal impact and seldom vary from it. The type is Gill 
Sans and, depending on the color charge of the book, may be 
foiled in gold, an anodized color, or black. The title page is a 
simple device used to place a point of division between the 
endpapers and the launch of the book. It is a place where the 
signature can be seen and the date locates the book in time. 
An occasional colophon page will locate the book in space and 
describe some of the materials and processes used. 

The gelatinized sheets have now dried and are gathered 
with the title page on top and the leaves given a number so as 
to mimic the notion of a signature in the old parlance. This is 
simply a guide for me to get the drawings back into a particu- 
lar order, especially if I take the sheets out of order to do any 
eccentric surface methods as I work up the designs — things 
like passing the sheet through the etching press against a plate 
to perhaps calendar it or take it to a new level of implicit 

Designs begin with pencil and ink to make geometrical de- 
terminant points on the paper plane — specific locations in the 
folio continuum. Color fields are delivered with pens, hairy 
brushes (sheep, badger, mink, or wolf) or airbrushes. Dry pig- 
ments are rubbed vigorously into the paper so as to avoid the 
need for aerosol fixatives. 

Endpapers are made up for the book — the outer endpaper 
is decorated usually using a paste medium, resin and pigment 
mix, and simple demarcation tools so as to not overcrowd 
the charm of that first entrance into the book — there will be 
sufficient visual pressure on the link between the exterior- 
ized binding and its gloss and the manuscript anyway so I find 

there is no need to push it. A second toned folio follows the 
first, less vigorously decorated but sufficient to link it to the 
next imaged leaf which is the title page. It pleases me to think 
of the linear flow of the book as something musical or sonical- 
ly poetic in the way that a theme may be stated at the outset 
on the top board of the book and be then softened, restated 
more dramatically, varied back into a different restatement, 
and finally resolved in a wave crash of chaos and cacophony. 

Once the imaging is complete, the individual leaves are 
again checked for orientation and are hinged together using 
a strong Japanese paper and paste. First the reverse side edge 
is burnished to reduce the caliper by about .002 inches. The 
hinging is simply done in the manner used to repair a dam- 
aged section. I color the Japanese paper with dilute ink so 
the paper picks up elements from the manuscript leaves. 
The space between the leaves is subtle, but it still reads as an 
otherness. When the hinge units are dry and the tailings cut 
off top and bottom, short angled lines are drawn now, as glue 
stops, if I'm planning to endband the book. If glue from the 
drumming process, — coming up in a later step — goes beyond 
these pencil lines, I will be either forcing a needle through a 
fused bond of adhesive or tying down through the active cen- 
ter part of the folio. (See illustration page 1 1 , right.) 

With the interior voice of the book mostly complete, I 
work up the subassembly parts. Given that the book is a full 
leather drum leaf, some preliminary work comes next. 

Boards are made using a stable mounting board. Two lay- 
ers are drummed together at the four edges and trimmed to 
the approximate size of the book, within .25 inches, to be 
trimmed later. The board is further stabilized and made more 
rigid by inserting small carbon rods into drilled holes, gluing 
them in place and, with abrasives, reducing any extra length, 
making their presence invisible. The rods keep the boards 
from shearing, as all laminates have a tendency to move later- 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 






(CAW RE. U>(X>e) 


ally. The rod placement pattern is usually a diamond with a 
point in the center so five are used in all. This makes for a 
very rigid board. [See above.] 

A full leather binding is usually assumed to use one piece 
of leather to cover the entire book. In this full leather drum 
leaf, the book is fully covered in leather, but it starts as three 
separate pieces. A strip of leather is prepared for the spine by 
paring it thin and laminating it with adhesives to interleaving 
paper. It is polished and given a mordant size for later tooling. 
Leather for the boards is pared and paper-mounted for stabil- 
ity. All leather is carefully pressed and allowed to settle. 

All the endpapers and formed sections are gathered and 
checked a final time and put between waste boards — binder's 
board rough-cut to fit. The book spine is rubbed with a folder 
to flatten each section's radius, creating a platform for the 
adhesive film. 

Under mild pressure the spinal column of the book is 
glued using PVA. When dry, the precise board thickness, now 
known and measurable, is transferred to lines parallel to the 
spinal horizon and the book is backed to about 60 degrees 
— not a full 90 as is conventional. Usually, I would round and 
back, but as most of my drum leaf bindings are thin, rounding 
first would become a hump, so I simply back it into a curve. 
This gives me the look of a rounded spine with shoulders that 

are in proportion to the thickness of the book. (Later, the 
back edge of the board where it meets the spine will also be 
cut to 60 degrees and beveled gently to meet the shoulder 
perfectly, while compensating for the covering leather. ) The 
shoulder must not project above the board nor can the board 
be above the shoulder. I am after a good match. The angle of 
the shoulder and this board edge bevel will be an inverted 
equilateral triangle. 

After removing the waste boards, the spine is lined with a 
Japanese paper or a polyester web and PVA. The lining goes 
out onto the first and last leaves a short distance, not exceed- 
ing .25 inches. 

The drumming sequence is critical. Now that the spine of 
the book is relatively stable and glued, lined, and DRY, the 
spine edge of the leaves is drummed with a line of PVA ap- 
plied about .25 inches wide, not extending beyond the pencil 
lines drawn in a previous step. The space left without PVA is 
where the endband thread is to go. (See illustration page 1 1 , 

The drum leaf book is a full -adhesive, non-sewn binding. 
The glued spine mimics the paperback book with all its self- 
annihilation tendencies and the application of adhesive to the 
section exteriors mimics the tipped- on endpaper — also prone 
to tear-off and disintegration. By next drumming the foredge, 
the whole affair is stabilized at three points and lateral mobil- 
ity is reduced to near zero, making for a very stable object 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

— as stable as I imagine it can be, being made of paper and skin 

— unlike the paperback. 

When the three points of the book — the spine itself, the 
spine edge and foredge of the leaves — are fully adhered and 
dry, the book and prepared boards are trimmed together on 
three sides and the edges are decorated. As this is a very black 
book, the edges are treated with graphite and charcoal in a 
wax base and polished to a slate-like gloss. The boards are 
marked up to retain their top, front, and back orientation, 
then set aside. 

Endbanding follows and is fairly conventional, using a single 
color thread, one needle, and very small cores attached to the 
book for stability. The thread end is glued on and allowed to 
dry and the sewing commences from the center, moving to- 
ward the left and when complete to that side, swings around 
the back and completes itself by wrapping to the right. There 
are many ways to do this and I employ it so as to have the 
continuity of the board square around the spine of the book. 
Nothing looks worse than the uneven drop from board to 
spine where an endband has been omitted. 

To prepare for the spine covering, the length of the spine 
arc is measured. It is close to 20 millimeters so I divide that 
number by 1.618 and to get 12.36 which I subtract from 
20 and get 7.64 mm. This number is the "golden cut" of the 
20 and provides the relative location of the line to which 
the leather spine will be placed on the first leaf. From the 
shoulder, I measure out to 7.64mm on the first leaf and make 
a divider mark. A pencil line is drawn this distance from the 
shoulder and parallel to it. This line is also measured and 
drawn on the back of the book. Accuracy is paramount! (See 
illustration on pages 16-17.) 

In order to accurately cut the leather spine covering to final 
size, I often make a paper template first by wrapping a strip 
of paper over the spine, then marking it where the pencil 
lines are, front and back. I also mark the length of the book 
on it and add an appropriate length for turn-ins and head cap 
formations on both ends — about 3/8 inch. I use the dimen- 
sions marked on this template to final cut my leather spine. 
Any required paring on the paper-lined leather is done to 
ensure a clean fit and, with a bit of paste, the head and tail 
are accurately turned. Immediately, the leather is dry /wet 
molded to fit the spine and the area over the spine and onto 
the first leaf is worked so as to mark it for repositioning. The 
leather piece is removed and adhesive is quickly applied to the 
first leaf between the shoulder and the pencil line. The leather 
is replaced into its position and worked with a bone folder 
to adhere. A quick press with a clean, sharp press board will 
set the adhesive. When the book can be safely handled, the 
leather is shaped tightly to the spine and adhered to the last 

leaf on the back in the same manner. There is no adhesive on 
the spine. Press again to fully consolidate. After completing 
the head caps, I let it dry completely. 

The drummed cover boards were previously trimmed with 
the book in order to achieve parallelograms exactly equal to 
the text block. Now that the caps and endbands are in place, 
the board squares are too short. They are amped up to size 
using strips of hard- sized watercolor paper which calipers 
to .018 with the width cut to the thickness of the boards. I 
use at least three layers on the three edges and leave the spine 
side free. This is done until the boards are just slightly over 
the endband height so that the leather turn-ins will provide 
the final layer and requisite dimension. When dry, carefully 
sand to remove any high spots or burrs. The board corners are 
reinforced with aliphatic resin glue and miter lines are drawn 
on the four corners. 

I want the boards to not only fit relative to the book but in 
elevation as well, so I sight along the back side and imagine 
what I'll see when thin, paper-bonded leather is wrapped 
around it. What will the thickness be? I sometimes test this 
with a similar piece so as to template out my thinking. I usu- 
ally bevel the boards at the spine edge at an angle that echoes 
the 60-degree bevel of the backed shoulder. All this is done to 
prevent some of the lever action from prematurely activating 
the machine. 

The leather is drummed to the outer edges of the boards 
with paths of adhesive about 1 5 mm wide. A hard roller 
quickly sets the adhesive and the board is turned over and 
the four corners are mitered as accurately as I can and glued 
down. As the leather was pared to around .018, an infill of 
paper of the same thickness is drummed into place on the 
insides of the boards to level them up. Because the boards 
are off the book, I can tool, drill, press or affect the boards 
without any danger to the book itself. When some or all of 
the exterior treatment is complete, it is a simple matter to 
apply an adhesive to the first leaf where the board is going 
to rest. I use a 3 / 8 -inch- wide metal straight edge lined up 
with the edge of the text block and draw a pencil line on all 4 
sides, 3/8-inch in from the edges, to guide the application of 
the adhesive. The adhesive is applied up to the pencil line and 
the cover board is carefully and accurately set in place. A short 
time in the press against clean boards and soft clean paper will 
set the board. This step is repeated for the other side and the 
book will be essentially complete. 

Once the book is finished, a box appropriate for the book 
will be constructed, full documentation written and, when 
any other errant conditions are noted and fully satisfied, the 
book will be delivered. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 



Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

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Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 


As with all systems and structures, change is the only con- 
stant. Since my adoption of it as a major mode of expressive 
bookmaking, the drum leaf binding has undergone at least five 
departures from the original outline and contains an uncount- 
able number (which only means I didn't count 'em!) of minor 
developments. As I complete this writing and look toward the 
completion of this commission, I don't expect all parts of the 
fabrication process to be relevant a year from now. And so it 
oes around. 

Timothy Ely began making books as early as 1957 (he 
started young). An interest in art, UFO images, alchemy, 
science, comic books and odd religious arcana led him 
from painting and design into bookbinding. He holds a 
BFA in drawing and printmaking from Western Wash- 
ington University and an MFA from the University of 
Washington. An NE A grant in 1981 took him to Japan 
and Europe for training in the traditional methods of 
book fabrication. He has collaborated with ethno-bota- 
nist Terence McKenna on "Synesthesia," a limited edition 
book published in 1992 by Granary Books. In 1994, he 
was awarded an NEA Western States Arts Federation 
Grant. His first trade book, "The Flight into Egypt," was 
published in 1995 by Chronicle Books. His one-of-a-kind 
books are in public and private collections worldwide. 

Editing and advice: Ann Marra & Randy Hankins [many 
thanks]. All errors otherwise not caught are mine. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

Conservation and Tools: An Inquiry into 
Nature and Meaning 

Jeffrey S. Peachey 

Most commonly, all interactions between an 
object conserved and a conservator are mediated 
through the use of a tool. This article examines the 
nature and meaning of interacting with a tool, and 
its tripartite effects on conservator, tool and object 
being conserved. Because using a tool often results 
in its being "embodied" with us, it is usually not 
consciously noticed. Some general societal attitudes 
toward working with one's hands may also con- 
tain some clues why the use of tools receives scant 
critical attention. The ontological status of tools, as 
distinct from art or other objects will also be briefly 
examined. By paying attention to the types of rela- 
tions that develop when using a tool, perhaps we can 
improve the skill level of the treatments performed. 

In conservation literature, there are many articles dealing 
with specific treatments to artifacts or with the ethics and 
philosophy of a conservator's values and how they affect an 
artifact. There are none, however, that examine the meaning 
and function of the tools that conservators use and how they 
influence both the conservator and the object being treat- 
ed.[l] This is an unfortunate oversight since most interactions 
between conservator and object are mediated through the use 
of a tool. For example, in book conservation, which is still 
closely linked to the historical craft of bookbinding, tradi- 
tional tools are constantly used in bench work. 

For the purposes of this essay, a hand tool is defined as a 
tool where the user provides both the source of power and 
the manipulation to act on an object. [2] 

Working with a tool is a continual interrelationship be- 
tween conservator, object and tool; it is a complex, uncon- 
scious relationship of hand skills, intention, the limits of what 
the tool can accomplish, monetary, material and other limita- 
tions. Most commonly, the whole process is simply referred 
to as "getting a feel for it." It is largely unconscious and rarely 
noticed unless something goes wrong — the tool breaks, needs 
sharpening, etc 

Consider the following example of a canoe paddle The 
handle at the end of the shaft is shaped to fit the hand through 
a variety of positions and also serves to twist the paddle for 

certain strokes. The shaft becomes the point for the applica- 
tion of power, its length determined by the height of the user, 
the height of the seat, the type of canoeing and the style of 
paddling. The blade propels the water. The smaller area near 
the top of the shaft enables the user to keep the paddle closer 
to the canoe, making paddling less exhausting, and allows for 
easier manipulation under the water for certain strokes. The 
face of the blade is not flat, but slightly tapered from a cen- 
terline — this and the laminations of poplar and quarter sawn 
white oak give it appropriate weight, flexibility, strength and 

We do not notice all these aspects of a paddle in use be- 
cause because they have become embodied. [4] In this case, 
embodiment refers to a tool we are so unconsciously aware 
of that we do not have to pay any attention to use it. Using a 
wood plane, whittling a stick or using a pen to write, the tool 
becomes an extension of ourselves, and we think no more 
about it than we do about how to walk. The number of tools 
we encounter each day is astounding, and, most of the time, 
we embody them and barely realize they are there. 

Embodiment depends on unconscious feedback through all 
the senses. One can tell if a scissors is cutting well just by the 
sound, for example. These subtle forms of feedback become 
apparent by their absence in virtual reality. In the Hong Kong 
Space Museum, I operated a virtual reality glider through the 
Grand Canyon. Although I was lying on my stomach, control- 
ling the pitch and side movement in a glider- like contraption, 
there was only visual feedback through a computer monitor. 
I had a difficult time controlling it. [5] I later realized this was 
because all the senses are necessary to maintain an embodi- 
ment relation. 

The embodiment experience is more easily entered into, 
and more powerful, if the user applies physical power to the 
tool. It leads to a rhythmic, trance-like state, unifying the 
mind and body of the user with the tool and with the thing. 
The synchronization of breath, pumping blood and exertion 
of muscles synthesize together with the tool and object into 
a larger organic whole. This relation is not noticed when it 
is happening because consciousness would break the rela- 
tionship. It is a feeling of "being in the moment" for lack of 
a better term. Much of the satisfaction that is derived from 
working with hand tools is the result of this embodiment. [6] 

Embodiment is a pleasurable experience and tool users try 
to maintain, encourage and recall this relationship outside the 
use of the tool. Much like a cuddling a child, fingering rosary 
beads or spinning a Tibetan prayer wheel, the rubbing, polish- 
ing, cleaning, sharpening and organization of tools — often to 
an obsessive degree — speak to maintaining a physical bond 
with the tool. It could be viewed as a kind of foreplay to the 
act of using the tool. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 


Extending the sexual metaphor further, tools possess what 
I call a progenitive nature — they physically enable the user to 
shape things into objects and are unique in this respect. Only 
a tool, through union with a user, can give birth to an object, 
hence, the commonly heard statement of makers referring to 
objects they have made as their "children." 

Another reference to embodiment is the common practice 
of ownership marks. This is not simply to deter theft; it is to 
claim identity with the tool. [7] This tool and its power are a 
part of me, literally. Sometimes a date of acquisition, which 
may be regarded as the tool's birthday, is also marked. 

In addition to naming, the wearing of tools also serves as 
an intimate, symbolic display of the power a tool confers on 
its owner. These tools are a part of my body and they literally 
are embodied. Many trades have specialized aprons or belts 
that not only keep frequently used tools handy, but display this 
power to the world. Perhaps the most extreme example is 
the series of engravings by Martin Engelbrecht that depict a 
variety of trades wearing clothes made out of their tools. 

Many of my ideas are inspired by reading Heidegger[8], 
especially "The Question Concerning Technology," and "The 
Origin of the Artwork." However, he had a limited and 
romantic view of the craftsman's working process. Rather, 
I consider a useful way to think about our relationship with 
tools as follows in the diagram below. 

The triad of tool, conservator and object forms a very 

Tool + 



stable relationship — when in use, each affects the other, when 
at rest, nothing changes except for any chemical or physical 
deterioration over time. This stasis is one of the main reasons 
it is difficult to derive meaning from a tool when it is at rest 
— nothing is going on. The user acts on the tool, which in 
turn acts on the object, which acts on the user, and so on. The 
tool plays as important a role in determining the symbolic and 
material quality in shaping the object as the maker does. 

One factor that is often not noticed is the influence of the 
user on the tool. Consider the next example. 

Originally the cutting edge of this cobbler's knife, facing 
downward, was a straight line. It has been sharpened so many 
times that the blade is almost worn into two pieces. Perhaps 
the user, over many years, adjusted the shape of the blade 
for a special purpose, maybe it was careless sharpening, or 
perhaps a distorted sharpening stone. Whatever the reason, I 
find examples like this extremely beautiful — they speak to an 
enduring relationship between user, tool and thing that takes 
place over many, many years. 

Perhaps because of this beauty, tools, generally very early 
tools, are sometimes displayed as art or artifacts. [9] Of- 
ten, these tools fail to garner interest because the viewer 
is expecting an art or artifact experience and they are not 
prepared or knowledgeable enough to appreciate them for the 
tools they are and relationship they had with their previous 
wielders. Since viewing a tool is antithetical to interpreting 
most of its meaning, viewers often concentrate on decorated 
tools. By concentrating on these external attributes, the 
viewer is drawn further away from the true meaning of the 
tool itself. Some contemporary artists are using references 
to tools, often making a comment on functionality by making 
non-functional tools. [10] Again, this seems to lead viewers 
away from the meanings of the tools. Because tools' self-ref- 
erentiality develops in use, they reveal little of their meaning 
when looked at. In many ways, a tool displayed is a shadow of 
a tool; the physical remains of its use event. 

Tools transmit a physical action when they are in use. 
Although they are often designed to perform one single task, 
they expand the physical range of the user, and this action is 
not mediated through symbolism. It is immediate and physi- 
cal. The meaning of a tool is self-referential because it only 
occurs in use. A tool, unlike art, contains its potentialities of 
meaning from the moment it is first used, while art acquires 
it as it ages. This self-referentiality also insures, to a large 
degree, that tools transcend time and cultural differences. 

This is an important difference between art and tools: be- 
cause of a tool's self-referentiality, they tend to be more uni- 
versal than art. A Stone Age hammer or an Egyptian bow drill 
is still recognizable as such. Art, however often shifts radically 
in meaning over time and requires a specialized knowledge to 
interpret its symbolism. For anyone unfamiliar with Bud- 
dhism, the various hand positions of the Buddha in statues has 
virtually no symbolic meaning. Across cultures, however, it is 
easy to identify and use tools, both historical and contempo- 
rary, because the basic nature of their physical actions has not 
radically changed. 

Using a tool requires hand skills or physical knowledge, 
which is usually thought of as easier to acquire than intellec- 
tual knowledge because it is functional. [1 1] Perhaps func- 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

tionality is thought of as mere problem solving, something 
simple. [12] Physical knowledge, sometimes referred to as 
muscle memory, is difficult to discuss, largely unconscious, 
and mainly taught by demonstration, imitation and experien- 
tial learning. It is also difficult to teach. I have, on occasion, 
heard myself exasperatedly exclaim while teaching, "You 
just do it like this," foolishly expecting the student to visu- 
ally grasp the entire range of subtle hand manipulations I am 
experiencing. The student remains as befuddled as ever. 

Perhaps it is the unconscious nature of this knowledge that 
causes it to be overlooked — the fact that a tool is embodied 
in use. The use of tools is a tactile, personal and individual 
experience. They are functional. Of all objects, tools come 
the closest to pure functionality. Perhaps as more and more of 
our reality is mediated through digital and virtual culture, we 
will feel more of a need to engage with, and pay attention to, 
the tools we use. Only by paying strict critical attention to a 
tools' interaction with us and the artifact we are treating can 
we attain a higher level of skills during treatments. 


1 . Although many conservators, myself included, are so- 
called "tool junkies." 

2. David Pye, in his excellent book, "The Nature and Art of 
Workmanship," feels the source of power is irrelevant. I will 
show later that it is an important aspect of the embodiment 

3. Some may question weather a paddle is a tool, but it 
interacts with a user and thing (water) and causes changes in 
the thing. The duration of change is inconsequential. 

4. I am borrowing this term from Don Idhe. 

5. And ended up virtually killing myself a couple of times. 

6. I would also speculate that traces of the embodiment re- 
lation remain in the object being made. Perhaps it is the gen- 
eral impression of something that we consider "well made." 

7. Medieval books and Greek cups are sometimes marked 
"I belong to ." 

8. Especially the concept of a tool in use. 

9 . This distinction seems particularly prey to various trends 
in museological circles — lately I find more tools displayed as 
art, rather than artifacts, although the boundary is very fluid. 

10. The National Building Museum in Washington D.C. 
probably has the largest collection of so called "tool art." 

1 1 . Although most contemporary educational theories 
stress a non-hierarchical model of multiple intelligences, this 
view has yet to filter into the general culture 

1 2 . Despite there being no commonly accepted definition 
of art, I would suggest that functionality is perhaps the crucial 
factor — if it is functional, it's not art. 


Heidegger, Martin. 1977. The Question Concerning Tech- 
nology. New York: Harper and Row. 

Ihde, Don. 1990. Technology and the Lifeworld: from 
Garden to Earth 

Jeffrey S. Peachey began bookbinding at The Gotham 
Book Mart, and entered the field of conservation in 
1989. He spent six years conserving books, works of art 
on paper and archives at Columbia University's Con- 
servation Lab. In 1996 he established a private practice 
conservation studio in New York City, serving institu- 
tions, private collectors and individuals. Awards include 
a Scholarship for the Guild of Bookworkers Standards of 
Excellence Conference, The Mellon Foundation and The 
Empire State Craft Alliance, for work on a bibliography 
of book structure. He is a Professional Associate of the 
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and 
Artistic Works. He has taught bookbinding workshops 
at Pratt Institute, The School of Visual Arts, Long Island 
University, Parsons, The New School and The Center for 
Book Arts. His Artist Books are included in the Marvin 
Sackner Collection of Concrete and Visual Poetry and 
the collection of Gerard Charrier. Grant projects have 
included working for the American Museum of Natural 
History, Union Theological Seminary, The Center for 
Jewish History and The NewYork Academy of Medicine. 
Since 1997 he has been inventing and producing various 
specialized tools for bookbinders and conservators. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 


A Traveling Punching Jig 

By Donia Conn 

This is a nifty little thing to take with you to workshops, 
conferences or on vacation! I saw it somewhere once and for 
the life of me I cannot remember where. I apologize for not 
crediting the person who gave the idea to me. If you let me 
know, I will put the credit in the next issue. 

Materials needed: 

Scraps of binders' board and 2 strips of buckram. 


mque : 

Cut three strips of binders' board and two strips of buck- 
ram at least 2.5" wide and 11" long (the size can be whatever 
you want depending on the size of books you are intending to 
be working with) . 

Cut one of the strips of binders' board in half along the 
short axis. 

Take one of the half— sized pieces of binders' board and lay 
your joined piece open on top at the angle you want to punch 
at. Mark for two notches at that angle and approximately Vi* 
deep. Cut out notches. Lay trimmed piece on top of second 
half piece, mark and measure. 

Optional: cut corresponding angle out of bottom for pleas- 
ing look for the feet. 

Assemble and punch away to your heart's content! Replace 
buckram when needed. 

Glue up a strip of buckram (or use double— stick tape) and 
adhere the two long strips of binders' board leaving three 
board thicknesses between the boards. Adhere the second 
strip of buckram on the opposite side, boning down into the 

Approximately Vi* in from either end of the joined boards, 
cut a slot that extends across the two boards and ends ap- 
proximately V2" from the edges. The slot should be the same 
size as the thickness of the boards. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

To travel, remove feet, place in the fold and tie closed. 

Donia Conn was introduced to bookbinding through 
a required art class at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. 
While a Ph.D. student in Mathematics at the University 
ofWisconsin -Madison, she started working with Jim 
Dast in the library's book repair department. After taking 
bookbinding classes at the Minnesota Center for Book 
Arts, she entered the Conservation Studies program at 
the University of Texas at Austin. Donia has interned with 
Tony Cains at Trinity College, Dublin, and J. Frank Mow- 
ery at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, 
and has worked as a book and paper conservator for vari- 
ous institutions across the US. Currently, she is the Rare 
Book Conservator at Syracuse (NY) University Library 
and Binder-in-Residence at Wells College. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

Spring[binding] Hath Sprung 

A Bind- O -Rama celebrating a distinctive tech- 

With this exhibition, the organizers of Spring [binding] Hath 
Sprung, an informal Bind- O- Rama, hope to help revive the 
springback style and promote its use as a canvas for creative 
binding. While the title, timing, and play on words may not 
seem serious, rest assured, we are serious about promoting 
24 this style of binding. 

As a style, the springback is firmly rooted in the 'trade' 
binding tradition. The springback 's robustness, and ability 
to lie flat and open for extended periods of time without 
stressing the spine unduly, make the structure ideal for use 
as account and record books. These same qualities make it 
suitable for guestbooks, lectern Bibles, and similarly used 
books. Regrettably the structure has not seen much use on 
fine bindings or in contemporary book art, especially as the 
structure would be a suitable platform for many elements of 
design bindings. For instance, the thick boards would provide 
a canvas for more sculptural or inset designs. With some mi- 
nor modification it could also serve as a means of presenting 
pop-up constructions. 

Recently, workshops and presentations have been given 
on the springback in the United States for the Austin Book 
Workers, at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, for the New 
England and Mid- west Chapters of the Guild of Book Workers 
and at the Guild's Standards of Excellence seminar, and most 
recently in Los Angles. The style is also still required learn- 
ing for apprentices in Germany. Articles on the style have 
appeared in the New Bookbinder and will soon appear in the 
Guild of Book Workers' Journal. A bibliography of tutorials 
was included on the exhibition announcement page. 

Participants in the Bind- O- Rama were challenged to pro- 
duce in either the English or German style a creative spring- 
back binding. The book could be bound in any workable mate- 
rial (cloth, leather, paper, ...) and incorporate any number 
of decorative techniques, including edge treatments, visible 
structure and cut-outs, inlays and onlays. . . The main intent of 
this exhibition was to have fun reviving the technique. While 
we had hoped for a greater response, we hope that binders 
will continue to rediscover this technique and experiment 
with it. Many thanks to all those who participated. 

A show and tell of some of these works will occur at that 
the Guild of Book Workers Seminar on Standards of Excel- 
lence in Providence, RI, USA, in mid- November. 

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of 
Peter S. Graham, University Librarian at Syracuse 
University, who unwittingly gave this exhibition its 
name and took great delight in all the book arts. 

The Binders: 

Eric Alstrom, Okemos, Michigan, USA 

"Springtime in England, or Maps of England: Illuminated, 
Enhanced and Generally Made More Useful. . . for the Pur- 
pose of Finding Ones Way about the English Countryside. . . 
during the Most Glorious of Seasons." German- style spring- 
back with pages of Mohawk Superfine painted with acrylics 
and photocopied with reproduction maps of England (found 
online at <http:/ /www. old-maps.>), then illuminated 
with Pilot metallic markers. Hahnemiille, Ingres, and Moriki 
endpapers. Headcaps of maroon denim around braided core. 
Sewn on three linen tapes. Acrylic-dyed canvas spine with 
Claire Maziarczyk paste paper panels and a laser-printed 
acrylic-dyed paper label. 16.5 x 14.5 x4 cm. Bound 2004. 

Technique learned from Peter Verheyen's and Donia Conn's 
online instructions originally published in "The New Book- 
binder," 2003. 

Peter Verheyen & Donia Conn 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

Alice Austin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Jana Brubaker, Pendleton, Oregon, USA 

English- style springback covered in X A green leather with 
pastepaper sides. 50x29x4 cm. Bound 2004. 

Technique learned from Richard Baker at the Guild of Book 
Workers Seminar on Standards of Excellence, 2003. 

Pamela Barrios, Orem, Utah, USA 

The mechanics of this springback reflect Richard 
Bakers demonstration at the Guild of Book Workers Seminar 
on Standards of Excellence in Hand Bookbinding in Denver 
CO, with a few references toVaughans 1929 classic, Modern 
Bookbinding. The new purpose of this springback is to pop up 
the pop-up. 14x 16.5 x4 cm. Bound 2004. 

The English- style springback was the perfect binding for 
my next bookwork, which examines our valuing of little 
girls, both in our society overall and, more closely, within 
our families. Working title: "Isn't She Precious."The text- 
block interweaves Hahnemuhle Bugra with cheap, recycled 
ledger paper. The text will intersperse photocopied prose 
with letterpress-printed "grocery lists" of words related to 
the de/ valuing of little girls. Imagery will combine /layer 
cyanotype printing with halftones. Covered in a Lycra/ cotton 
fabric of the sort typically associated with bathing suit bot- 
toms forever in need of tugging down, the horizontal stripe 
in the fabric harks back to the horizontal banding frequently 
used in the spring-back's original purpose as a ledger binding. 
Robust boards house a dandelion (yellow in the front cover; at 
its wish stage in back) pressed between layers of Plexi: Is she a 
weed, or a flower? 21.5x20x6 cm. Bound 2004. 

Description of binding on following page. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 


The springback, with its ability to lay flat when open and 
allowing writing access into a narrow spine margin, makes 
an ideal choice for a guestbook, particularly for a Victorian - 
themed wedding. I've accented with hand- sewn headbands 
and an inset in the front cover revealing the wedding tissue. 
An extravagantly oversized grosgrain ribbon bookmark leads 
guests to the next blank page. Covered in Saikou Echizen 
washi on its 'reverse' side, the "plain brown wrapper" feel of 
this book opens to fiery orange fibers: endsheets of the right 
side of the same paper. The happy couple poses in Victorian 
period costume on a second set of endsheets in Magnani Pes- 
cia. 15.5x15 x 4 cm. Bound 2004. 

Technique learned from Richard Baker at the Guild of Book 
Workers Seminar on Standards of Excellence, 2003. 

Donia Conn, Skaneateles, New York, USA 

German- style springback "Mini." Leather with leather and 
alum-tawed on-lays. 6.5 x 4.8 x 1 .7 cm. Bound 2004. 

Technique learned from Peter Verheyen. 

Willi Egger, Sambeek,The Netherlands 

German- style springback. I got a pile of old original prints 
for a register used for the registration of persons from the 
teacher with whom I bound my springback. From these 
sheets the underlaying book was made. The design is kept 
very simple: half-leather binding with leather covered edges, 
natural-bookbinders cloth. The binding is built following the 
German-style springback. The spine carries a built-in label- 
field, where a black-goat- skiver label is placed. The front of 
the book is decorated with simple gold-tooling. 36.5 x 24.0 x 
3.6 cm. Bound 2004. 

Technique learned in the P. van Daalen, Handbookbindery 
Bronsgeest, Leidschendam,The Netherlands in 2002. 

Karen Hanmer, Glenview, Illinois, USA 

English- style, text block documents Keith Smiths "200 
Books"; covered in X A tan goatskin with paper sides in material 
documenting 15 Italian pastries. 25 x 18 x 4 cm. Bound 2004. 

Description of binding on following page. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

English- style, blank book, spine covered in X A salmon col- 
ored goatskin with embossed paper sides. 20 x 17 x 2.5 cm. 
Bound 2004. 

English- style, text block from inexpensive Chinese rule< 
notebook; covered in Va- green goatskin with printed paper 
sides. 17.5 x 13 x 1.5 cm. Bound 2004. 

Instruction from Richard Baker at the Guild of Book Work- 
ers Midwest Annual Meeting workshop in St. Louis, 2002 

Roberta Lavadour, Pendleton, Oregon, USA 


English- style, dos-a-dos; spines covered in Va red leather 
with paper sides depicting photos of dancing couples courtesy 
of the Library of Congress. 24.5 x 19 x 7.5 cm. Bound 2004. 

Learned basic structure from Richard Baker at the Guild 
of Book Workers Midwest Annual Meeting workshop in St. 
Louis, 2002 

Robert Hanmer, Glenview, Illinois, USA 

English- style, text block from laboratory notebook; covered 
in Va- dark green goatskin with raised bands on spine and 
marbled paper. 24.5 x 19.5 x 2.25 cm. Bound 2004. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

"A Counting" — English-style springback, leather cover with 
double straight bands laced with deer vellum. 600 pages of 
9 lb. Canary paper with painted edges. Inscription notes the 
multiplier for each of the 300 page spreads needed to equal 
the number of dead and wounded American soldiers and Iraqi 
civilians since March 2 00 3. 7.5 x7x 2.5 cm. Bound 2004. 

Technique learned from Alex J. Vaughan's "Modern Book- 
binding" and Peter Verheyen's on-line draft of "The Springback 
in the English Tradition." 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

Linda Newbown, Canberra, Australia 


Cara Schlesinger, Faenwyl Bindery, Brooklyn, 
NY andYoungsville, NY, USA 

"Keeping Account of a Purple-dyed Life." German-style 
springback account book. Cover papers, text papers and 
thread hand- dyed purple. Purple bookcloth spine, corners 
and headbands. Designed to be a journal for a vegetarian ec- 
centric, so no animal products were used. 18x14x3.5 cm. 
Bound 2004. 

Technique learned from Sally Rose 

Gregory Santos, New York, New York, USA 

"SpringBark," a 366-page year-round gardener's journal, 
incorporates natural material found in the woods around 
our house in the Catskills. Black cherry bark from a fallen 
branch covers the spine, its curve perfectly suited that of the 
springback 's deep rounding. The cherry bark is sewn to Davie 
board covered with hand-peeled, cured white birch bark, with 
headcaps formed of a layer of birch covering the spring itself. 
Because of the split-board construction, the birch covering 
the boards was first turned in at the spine edge so the covered 
boards could be sewn to the cherry, then the stiff card was in- 
serted in the split boards and the bark turned in on the other 
three edges. The endsheets and flyleaves are made of white 
birch bark laminated first on paper covered with gold leaf, 
and then on the 1 -ply Bristol used for the text block. 

"SpringBark" is a prototype extrapolated from the English 
style, as described in Peter Verheyen. I have also read as many 
other descriptions of the style as I can. I have no formal 
training, though I have learned much at the Center for Book 
Arts in New York City, particularly from Barbara Mauriello, 
Carolyn Chadwick, and Emily Martin. 

German- style account binding covered in pastepaper by 
Donia Conn and Strathmore paper with handmade paper 
endsheets. 7x8.5x2.5 cm. Bound 2004. 

Technique learned from Peter Verheyen and Donia Conn at 
the Garage Annex School for Book Arts. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

Laura J.Thomson, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Selected Bibliography: 

English- style springback covered in !4 deep purple Nigerian 
goatskin and Japanese handprinted Chiyogami papers. Blind 
tooled with three raised bands. Text of Rives light weight 
white paper. 24.4 x 17.4 x 3.8 cm. 

Technique learned from Bernard Houlton, Central Metro- 
politan College ofTAFE, Perth, Western Australia. 

Peter Verhey en, Syracuse, New York, USA 


"L' Infinite ," exhibition catalog to the Mostre Internatio- 
nale Di Rilegatura D'Arte held in Italy, 1999. German-style; 
sewn on three tapes with endsheets of Roma paper; graphite 
top edge; red leather wrapped endband; covered with two 
veined calf vellum panels at top and bottom with center panel 
painted with textured acrylic; spine and sewing exposed in 
center panel and painted with textured acrylics; title stamped 
in gold. 28 x 25.5 x 6.5 cm. Bound 2004. 

Description of the style: 

Etherington, Don and Matt Roberts (1982). Bookbinding 
and the Conservation of Books: A dictionary of descriptive 
terminology. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. 

Middleton, Bernard C. (1996). A History of English Craft 
Bookbinding, New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press. 

English style: 

Government Printing Office (1962). Theory and Practice 
of Bookbinding, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing 

Hasluck, Paul N. (1912). Bookbinding, Philadelphia: David 

Mason, John. (1933). Bookbinding and Ruling, London: 
Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd. This is volume 5 of The Art and 
Practice of Printing: A work in six volumes, William Atkins, 

Pleger, John. (1924). Bookbinding, Chicago: Inland Print- 
ing Company. 

Vaughan, Alex J. (1996). Modern Bookbinding, London: 
Robert Hale. 

Verheyen, Peter D. (2004). The Springback in the English 
Tradition . <http : / / www. philobiblon . com / 
springback-eng/ > 

Whetton, Harry (1946). Practical Printing and Binding: A 
complete guide to the latest developments in all branches of 
the printer's craft, London: Odhams Press Limited. 

German style: 

Henningsen,Thorwald (1969). Handbuch fur den Buch- 
binder, St. Gallen: Rudolf Hostettler. 

Kersten, Paul (1921). L. Brade's Illustriertes Buchbinder- 
buch: Ein Lehr- und Handbuch der gesamten Buchbinderei 
und aller in dieses Each eingeschlagenden Techniken, Halle: 
Verlag von Wilhelm Knapp. 

Liiers, Heinrich (1943). Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders, 
Stuttgart: Max Hettler Verlas 

Moessner, Gustav (1969). DieTaglichen 
Buchbinderarbeiten, Stuttgart: Max Hettler Verla 

Technique learned during apprenticeship at the Buchbind- 
erei Klein, Gelsenkirchen, Germany. 

Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004 

The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist 

Verheyen, Peter D. , and Donia Conn. The Springback: 
Account Book Binding. London: Designer Bookbinders, The 
New Bookbinder, Vol 23, 2003. Online at: <http:/ /www. springback>. 

Wiese, Fritz (1983). Der Bucheinband: Eine Arbeitskunde 
mitWerkszeichnungen, Hannover: Schluterische 
Verlagsanstalt und Druckerei. 

Wolpler, Florian. Der Sprungriicken. Online tutorial, in 
German. <http:/ /members. 
30 FTD-sprungruecken.pdf>. 

Zahn, Gerhard (1990). Grundwissen fur Buchbinder: Schw- 
erpunkt Einzelfertigung, Itzehoe : Verlag Beruf + Schule.. 

TO- H£* UuESTt THE uubtn 
HANiir«jCTi.nrRr. i>r i r^v.irp 

J Hewit & Sons Ltd 


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Volume 1 , Number 1 , Fall 2004